Melvin Ingram putting up case to be NFL Defensive Player of the Year


Now that the Los Angeles Chargers have finally gotten into the win column, we can focus on some of the things that have gone right this year.

And has anything gone better than the play of Melvin Ingram?

The defensive end is on his way to having the best season in his career, racking up 7.5 sacks in the first five games of the season. He is second in the league in sacks and with his career high sack total of 10.5 coming in 2015, he is poised to blow that number away.

Ingram had just eight sacks last year. The team still decided to place the franchise tag on him in February to keep him off the free-agent market and after signing him to a new four-year deal in June, the Chargers have to be thrilled with his performance.

Ingram was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September and now, it’s not inconceivable to think that he could win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. As of right now, he’s in the thick of that race.

Ingram ranks second in the league in sacks and he’s helped keep the Chargers in games this year with his pass-rushing skills. In fact, if not for the play he made against the New York Giants on Sunday, sacking Eli Manning and stripping the ball from him, who knows if the Chargers aren’t sitting at 0-5 right now.

Melvin Ingram, on FR: "It was looking for me. … It just said, 'Where you at?' and I said, 'I'm right here.'"

— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) October 8, 2017

Oh by the way, he recovered the fumble on the play as well.

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For some time now, the Chargers have heard about he pass rushers in the AFC West. Justin Houston, Von Miller and Khalil Mack usually get the recognition in that discussion. But the Chargers can’t be forgotten in those talks.

Ingram has been terrific, but Joey Bosa deserves credit as well. He has been taking on numerous double teams which has helped allow Ingram to win his matchup and get to the quarterback at a rate we haven’t seen before.

If Ingram continues to play at the level he has through five games, there’s a solid chance that Chargers fans will see the team have its first Defensive Player of the Year since Junior Seau did it in 1992.